Preserving Michigan wildlife – how you can help

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Summertime is the perfect time to get outdoors… and there is no shortage of outdoor opportunities here in West Michigan! But how can we ensure that Michigan’s natural resources remain beautiful for generations to come?

The Michigan Wildlife Council is currently conducting an education campaign to help inform the people of Michigan about the importance of wildlife and wildlife conservation. A lot of hard work takes place everyday to ensure that our wildlife and natural resources can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Today, we’re taking you to Muskegon State Park. You may know it for its beach and its camping, hiking and fishing opportunities, but there is more here than meets the eye. We met up with Heidi Frei, a Natural Resource Steward with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.>>> Take a look in the video above!

Muskegon State Park is home to a variety of ecosystems, and therefore a variety of wildlife. This location has over two miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan, and on the other side, over a mile of shoreline along Muskegon Lake. In addition, they have a forested dune area, which not only allows for our visitors to participate in outdoor activities, but also is home to a long list of species.

There are some problems with invasive species. They are also currently in the process of removing Hemlock woolly adelgid, spotted knapweed and of course, garlic mustard, all invasive species.Is there anything specific that West Michigan residents can do to help manage these invasives?

In addition to avoiding the spread of these species, they can volunteer!

Every month they host volunteer stewardship days, not just at Muskegon State Park, but at other West Michigan parks as well, such as Saugatuck State Park, Hoffmaster State Park, Holland State Park and others.

These workdays typically last two to three hours, leaving plenty of extra time to explore the parks while you’re there.

If you would like to learn more about the upcoming stewardship opportunities in your area, visit Michigan.gov/DNRVolunteers. And, to learn more about the Michigan Wildlife Council visit, http://hereformioutdoors.org/.

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